Hi, my name is Johnny Dealer. I spend my mornings listening to incoming sales calls from the previous day. I then, go into a deep depression. I guess I am like most dealers, but today, I’m going to do something about it. I am going to create a system that will eliminate all of these missed opportunities. I am about to build a Lean, Mean, Lead-Handling Machine.
Here is how I’m going to do it.
First, I’m going to TOTALLY commit to my new lead department. I am going to commit finances, facilities, training, equipment, and most importantly, PEOPLE. I am going to hire a real-life Manager to run this department and I’m going to pay this person just like the rest of my managers. After all, this department is every bit as important as the others in my dealership. I know that the future of this department is wholly dependant on MY buy in. I AM IN!
What am I going to call this department. BDC? Internet Department? I think I am going to call it the Appointment Department. That is the most accurate name I can think of, plus, calling it the Internet Department only makes me feel more techno-ignorant. I want these employees to know that the appointment is the objective. We’ll hand them over to of the product specialists when they get here.
I want to build this Lean, Mean, Lead-Handling Machine to run smoothly and most importantly, be reliable. I can’t have it breaking down at inopportune times. I think I’ll begin with my people. I’m going to take my time and only hire the best and pay them well. Training? Of course. I think I’ll do this in two stages. First, I’ll get my hands on the best phone scripts and email templates in the industry. We will train them relentlessly until they can recite them in their sleep. After that, I will teach them our incoming lead concepts. 1. We got what you want. 2. You got what we want. 3. You’re special, we’re special. (see my article, “Incoming Calls are as Easy as 1,2,3.) I want my people to not only memorize the word tracks, but I want them to UNDERSTAND the content and CONVEY the motivation to the customer.
This machine is beginning to take shape.
Now, I must set up a process that works for everyone. Everyone in my store needs to know this process, inside and out. When a lead comes in, who takes it? At what time do they turn it to a Manager? Can they discuss price? If not, who then? How about follow up? When and how often do they get back with a customer? Do they do it by phone, email, video, or in person? When do they stop trying? I will make sure that ALL of these questions are answered in my process…..my WRITTEN process. How can I expect my people to perform if they are not clear on my vision.
I spend a fortune on tools in my service department. Every time I turn around, my manufacturer has generously shipped and billed a new piece of equipment that is now needed to work on the new models. In my new Appointment Department, I’m not going to cut corners on their tools. They are going to need their own area, with fast computers, great phones with headsets, and a great CRM. The equipment and resources they have are a reflection on my commitment to this department.
How can I make this machine consistent? If I dump a specific number of leads into my machine, how can I be sure of exactly how many car deals will come out the other side? This will boil down to tracking and expectations. I have learned over the last 30 years, that if you want to see numbers increase, simply track them. What are my expectations? I guess I will leave that to the experts. I want to set appointments with 60% of my fresh leads and 40% of my leads that are a week old or more. 50% of them will show. I want to sell 45% of the appointments that show up. I know everyone has different numbers that work for them, but these work for me…..for now. That leads me to “expectations”. I know that my people will perform to their expectations. It is MY job to not just manage people, but manage their expectations. I promise to make my expectations so clear that they become their expectations.
When my machine is built and running effectively, I vow to soup it up. You know, like a turbocharger. I can start getting innovative with video appointment confirmations, fancy .pdf proposals, bringing in trainers, hiring phone coaches, data mining, lead screening, video search optimization, email marketing, social media promotions, and the like. Heck, my new machine will even be able to handle service leads!
If is a big two-letter word. But…
- IF I manage this department with the same vigor that I manage my Finance Department, Sales Department, or Service and Parts Departments, it will succeed.
- IF I dump 300 fresh leads into my new Lean, Mean, Lead-Handling Machine, then it will produce 180 appointments, 90 of them will show up, and 40 of them will buy. This does not even include re-hashing my lost opportunities from the last several months!
- IF I continue to commit to my new department, every time I dump 100 new leads into my machine, I will get 13 more sales.
My mission is simple now……Find more leads to feed the machine!
Who’s Your Danny?
PS – My apologies if your name is, in fact, Johnny Dealer. Any negative references to this name is strictly coincidental, especially if you actually live on 123 Elm Street, Anytown, USA. or work at ABC Motors.